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30 September, 2006

Melodious muezzin

Anyone wanting to hear the Ramadan prayers sung in a truly beautiful way should head for Ibn Spud mall around sunset.

The muezzin, or mosque singer, not only has a lovely voice, but also sings the qu'ran in a really tuneful way, that is nice to hear even if you don't understand what the Arabic means. It sounds a bit like Gregorian chant, and he also seems to really feel and love what he is singing about.

It is rather strange to hear devotional songs ringing through the fluro-lit, technicolour halls of a shopping mall, while people sit around drinking Starbucks and buying trainers. But there is more to life than commercialism, even in Dubai.

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48 Comments:

Anonymous dead hamster said...

That's a lovely post SD. I'm not used to you writing without a criticism of some sort. so, What's the catch?

01 October, 2006 02:17  
Blogger secretdubai said...

There's no catch. It's a big myth that everything is negative here. Have a read back, and you'll see.

01 October, 2006 03:26  
Blogger nijaz said...

Yeah...the Quran Recitation Competition during Ramadan is serious...but I guess as long as there's no DJ prefix to the contestant's names no one's going to notice.

01 October, 2006 03:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You recite the Quran SD.Its not a song.Also the Mosque behing Lulu in Karama has an Imam whose recitation will make you stop and listen.During Ramadan we have the Taraweeah prayers after the Isha prayer at night and the Imams recite the whole Quran(in parts during prayer) atleast once within the 29/30 day period.Reciting verses of the Quran is part of normal prayers too.

01 October, 2006 09:40  
Anonymous i hate religion said...

if you listen closely enough, you'll get brainwashed.. the funniest is during fridays, when these banshees scream and yell at the top of their lungs to kill infidels and heretics and stoning and beheading everyone that doesn't agree with you

01 October, 2006 12:25  
Blogger Harsha said...

I oculd second 'i hate religion'

01 October, 2006 12:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not a 'mosque singer'.Its the Imam who recites the verses.

Harsha and i-hate-religion:If you don't understand the sermon, don't talk about it.Most of them ask to unite for the brothers who are under attack and ask Muslims to follow true Islamic principles and condemn violence.Dont generalize because I think you wouldnt want that to be done to your religion too

01 October, 2006 14:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It isn't "devotional songs" that you hear all over the country at night during Ramadan. It is the recitation of the verses of the Quran. The verses are all beautifully rhyming. But when an Imam(the one who leads the prayer) happens to have a beautiful vioce & 'recites' with passion, it naturally becomes very mesmerising. Those who understand it know how various passages call for various responces from the listeners...awe, hope, fear, humility, reflection, etc.

01 October, 2006 15:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha SD i knew once i read this posting that while you meant good, you would end up offending the entire muslim race for the use of the word "song".

We are very sensitive people and get offended at everything!

PR man

01 October, 2006 16:51  
Blogger secretdubai said...

PR Man - yeah - I had this fear. But I actually don't care. I meant well by this post, that's all that matters. That's all any Higher Authority is ever going to judge me on.

If people want to take offence, let them do so, and let them enjoy it. They'll be judged on their own small minds and ungenerous spirits when the time comes, so I hope it will be worth it for them ;)

01 October, 2006 16:56  
Blogger DG said...

Secret Dubai, muezzin just gives the call to prayer. The person who leads the prayer is called an imam. All the mosques operated by the government have a separate muezzin & imam but most private mosques only have one person who acts as both a muezzin & imam.

It might be of interest to you that most verses of Quran are in the form of poetry. The reason our scholars give for this is that in the time of Prophet Moses, magic was the buzz word. Therefore we see Moses defeating the magic of the magicians.

At the time of Jesus, medicine was the buzz word. Therefore we see Jesus healing the ill as well as giving life to dead with the permission of His Lord.

At the time of revealation of Quran, arabs were known for their excellent skills in poetry. So when the people heard it (the Quran), many of them called the prophet Mohammed a mad poet.

"And (they) said: "Are we going to abandon our gods for the sake of a mad poet?" (37:36)

And the reply from Almighty in these verses:

"And if you are in doubt concerning that which We have sent down to Our slave, then produce a chapter like it and call your witnesses besides Allah, if you are truthful." (Verse 2:23)

and

"Or do they say: "He (Muhammad) has forged it?" Say: "Bring then a Surah (Chapter) like unto it, and call upon whomsoever you can, besides Allah, if you are truthful!" (Verse 10:38)

By the way, it was a nice post. Thanks :-)

01 October, 2006 18:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "screams" you hear are actually chants of "Amen", I hate religion. If we have to kill infidels we don't necessarily have to gather under a roof on a friday afternoon.

Harsha, we only gather and talk about slaughtering cows en masse. We are waiting for Eid Al-Adha impatiently when we can slaughter millions of cows. Yummy, beef! And keeping in the spirit of brotherhood, we will be distributing the meat to our less fortunate brothers around the World. If you feel you are less fortunate, or have a craving for a yummy, juicy, beef stake, please line up outside your local masjid.

After our chanting we can spare you some :D

01 October, 2006 18:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stake = steak

But, I bet you didn't notice it, Harsha.

01 October, 2006 18:29  
Blogger Dani said...

..that is nice to hear even if you don't understand what the Arabic means. lol..

Gregorian chant always gives me goosebumps...creepy. :S

01 October, 2006 20:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, it should be spelled as Mua'azzin. That would have the right pronounciation.

02 October, 2006 11:38  
Anonymous i hate religion said...

atleast the christians are humble about their religion..

Moslems on the other hand have to scream out to the world "oh look how holy we are, cos we're all getting together and washing ourselves 10 times a day and wasting water for no good reason and we need special mat and have to point exactly in so and so direction cos otherwise our prayers are ineffective"

if the moslems didn't spend 1000s of dirhams to do the hajj pilgrimage and instead donated it to charity, the world's problems would be solved

02 October, 2006 12:45  
Blogger Al-Republican said...

I hate religion:

What is it that makes you the ass you are? You hate religion, yet have such sympathetic words for Christianity? And when it comes to Islam all you have is your hate-filled, nauesating idiosyncrasies. Save us the bloody hypocritical rant. And for your own good, decide if you HATE religion or are a pussy-footed Christian. The least you can do is be proud of what you are.

As for the chanting, kidnly refer to the book of Isaiah, Chapter 42, the Introductory 20 verses (9-12 to be EXACT). You will find in there on how the people of Paran (present day Makkah) will chant from the top of mountains in Praise and Glory of the Lord. The Old Testament clearly also mentions these people as the sons of God!

As for the thousands of dirhams "wasted" save your ignorant breath. Islam is the only religion that makes it INCUMBENT upon the Muslims to pay Zakat (compulsory charity, for lack of a better word in English) every year on their savings. Not doing so takes one out of the fold of Islam. Most Muslims give this Zakat right after Ramadhan. So if you are disgusted at how life is treating you perhaps we can spare you some change.

02 October, 2006 13:10  
Blogger Al-Republican said...

Just so that you hate us a bit more:

Read this

02 October, 2006 13:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"i hate religion" is a gay priest who molest children in his church.

02 October, 2006 13:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except for the Azzan(i.e. the call to prayer), the voice of the imam/muazzin/prayer leader SHOULD NOT go out of the mosques. According to the teachings of Islam, the sermons, the recitations & all other mosques activities should be kept lower so it is within the confines of the masjid. The respected scholar Sheikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked:

"In recent times it has become very common for the imams of mosques to use outdoor loudspeakers, which are usually placed in the minaret and the volume is set very high. By doing this, some mosques disturb one another in the prayers in which Qur’aan is recited out loud, by using these loudspeakers for the recitation. What is the ruling on using loudspeakers for the prayers in which Qur’aan is recited out loud when the sound from the minaret will disturb other mosques?"
He replied:

What you have mentioned about using loudspeakers on the minaret for the prayers in which Qur’aan is recited out loud is something that is not allowed, because it causes a lot of disturbance for the people in houses and other mosques nearby.
This is based on the instruction of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH):“ A worshipper is conversing with his Lord, so let him think about the One with Whom he is conversing. Do not raise your voices above one another when reciting Qur’aan.”

02 October, 2006 15:28  
Anonymous Sleep-deprived said...

Is it just me or have the pre-dawn calls to prayer tripled in volume?

02 October, 2006 15:31  
Blogger writing hobo said...

It has always been and will always be that one of man's greatest folly is his ignorance.

"I hate religion"...it would be best if you do not speak about things you do not know or understand. Perhaps if you spend less time hating what you don't understand, much less know, you'll have a better concept of what you actually hate and why. To suggest a divide among christians and moslems is pure evil. Christians and moslems may not be the same, but we are not so different either. Not one is more or less than the other in faith and belief. At the end, Islam and Christianity is not about people but of and for God with His people.

02 October, 2006 15:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the moslems didn't spend 1000s of dirhams to do the hajj pilgrimage and instead donated it to charity, the world's problems would be solved

That is probably the most ignorant statement I have ever heard.

World's problems would be solved; did you think about that before you typed it? So it's going to stop wars, cure AIDS, and stop natural disasters as well right?

As Al-Republican stated above, Muslims (those who are capable) are required to pay 2.5% of their money to the poor every year. If you read history, during the ruling of Omar Ibn Abdul-Aziz, there were no poor people left in the Islamic State becuase everyone was paying Zakat.

02 October, 2006 22:47  
Blogger Al-Republican said...

Anonymous @ 02 October, 2006 22:47

Thanks for the reference of Umar Ibn Abdul Azeez! He was the Caliph of the time and this actually leads into another domain of what role the Islamic state is to play in terms of enforcing religious laws (such as Zakat, fasting, prayers etc). Clearly, these days the Muslim states are not implementing Islamic laws. Our Western counterparts are not able to grasp this aspect of religion and state (since there is some sort of Islamic awakening going around). In fact, many Muslims aren't able to put it in perspective either!

It is a matter that needs to be addressed - educating the masses on the role of Islamic laws vis-a-vis the State. I am going to try and address this in my blog in the coming days: (1) the roots of Islamic theology (2) the important aspect of dispensation of such laws by the State.

02 October, 2006 23:33  
Blogger secretdubai said...

what role the Islamic state is to play in terms of enforcing religious laws (such as Zakat, fasting, prayers etc).

You can force a man into a mosque or place of worship; you cannot force him to communicate therein with his god.

There should be no compulsion in religion. Fasting because you have to - because there is no food available, and you would be arrested if you did eat - has zero value.

It is only the choices we make with our hearts that god recognises. The state should play no role in enforcing religious laws of any kind. What it should perhaps play a role in is enforcing people's ability to follow religious laws - so that they are not discriminated against if they do wish to fast, and so that they are able to leave work and pray, and so that they can wear religious symbols and garments, and so forth.

Guide, by all means, teach, encourage - but never force or legislate matters such as these.

02 October, 2006 23:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not so for Zakat SD.It is the right of the poor and so it is compulsory.

03 October, 2006 09:42  
Blogger Jin said...

When I moved in May, the first thing I missed was hearing the Imam from the local mosque. His voice was an absolute pleasure to listen to. I was in the area recently & stopped dead in my tracks as once again, this particular Imams voice seemed to fill the air with untold mystery. I smiled all the way home :-)

03 October, 2006 10:35  
Blogger Al-Republican said...

SD-

You have it all wrong. The State plays as a facilitator and a regulatory authority in the Islamic System. When you hear things like "Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue" then don't think some bearded Mullahs sucked it out of their thumbs in a cave in Afghanistan. In fact, this is THE distinguishing characteristic of Muslims! In the Qur'an it is refered to and explained in detail again and again, "Amr bil-ma'roof wa yanha anil-munkar".

Also, note that no one is caned to pray. Rather, the State should take steps to FACILITATE prayers. For example, in Saudia Arabia, shops etc are closed for 10 minute break at the time of prayers. This way, people automatically find time to go for prayers. Same holds true for fasting. The topic is a little deep when you talk about Salah (prayers) and Zakat (compulsory charity). Perhaps I can put something related to that on my blogs.

Kindly also note that the injunction of "la ikraha fid-deen" (there is no compulsion in religion) is for non-Muslims ONLY. As for the Muslims, the Qur'anic injunction is "udkhulu fis-silmi Kaaffah" (Enter into Islam COMPLETELY). So there are no half-baked ways around this. And when a person decides to be a Muslim (in English meaning, one who submits his will to the Will of God) then it is a choice he/she made to submit their wills to the Will of God and not their own whims and desires. Also, I think you are unaware of something in our religion known as FARDH (obligatory or compulsory) articles. Things such as Zakat, fasting, and prayers all fall under this category of not just Fardh, but of Fardh Al-Ayn (highest degree of COMPULSION). Yes, you read that word right, hehe. Like I keep saying, if one educates themselves of these intricacies, things will make more sense. With the little I have stated here, I am sure it still doesn't make sense!

Lastly, yes, there are hypocricies in how the Muslim governments (like the "Ramadhan laws" here in Dubai) operate. But, we are all human beings and we all have desires. Just because we can and do sin, doesnt mean we can't be spiritual at other times. To balance spirituality with materialism is a hard call and both are inherent traits of the human being.

03 October, 2006 10:41  
Anonymous moslems are sex deprived said...

al-republican:

"But Judaism eventually let her down, Safia said. In 1997, nearly destitute, she approached a North Tampa synagogue for help. Officials at the shul wanted to know if she was a member. She was not. They asked her if she was really Jewish.

“They said just because I had a relative along the line didn’t make me Jewish,” said Safia. “That was the first wall. That I wasn’t pure.”"

i'm sure that it's all fine and shit when moslems help out other moslems, but do moslems ever help out non-moslems? non-moslems help out moslems on a daily basis.. most western countries donate money and send aid to moslem countries but the other way around???? it's great that moslems pay zakat, but does it go to poor people regardless of race/creed/religion? somehow i don't think so.. so take your zakat and shove it up your ass where even the dubai sun don't shine biatch, cos either way it makes no difference whatsoever to non-moslem poor people.

03 October, 2006 11:07  
Anonymous moslems hate sex said...

writing hobo:

there isn't any real friendlyness between islam and christianity right now... it's a little known fact that moslems will say one thing in english and something entirely different in arabic... and they will say one thing to the world and something entirely different when they're in the company of moslems

example: compare the english and arabic translations of the hamas and fatah and hezbolla charters...

example: during one of the peace talks, arafat publicly said that he renounced terrorism ... and very soon after, he was on palestinian tv screaming "jihad jihad jihad"

03 October, 2006 11:17  
Anonymous don't believe the lies said...

anonymous:

according to wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umar_II ), umar ibn abdul aziz ruled from 715 - 720 AD. yes i'm sure that during this time it was heaven on earth... for FIVE years? out of 1500 years of islam's history? is this the best you can do?

in any case, the guy was god incarnate i'm sure to all the moslems ... but how was his behaviour towards non-moslems? non-moslems were taxed with Jizya under his rule.

last time i checked, moslems living in the US don't get taxed for being moslems... although i think they should be.. and the money used to rebuild the WTC twice as tall

03 October, 2006 11:26  
Anonymous please sir can you spare a little food? i'm fasting! said...

it's a good point that SD brought up... being forced to not eat isn't FASTING.. it's called STARVATION. there's a qualititative difference between the two words... but then who knows, perhaps in arabic both concepts use the same word in arabic...???

all the people in ethiopia and somalia aren't starving... they're FASTING...!!?? :P

03 October, 2006 11:31  
Anonymous sock it to em, poppet said...

al-republican:

shops are forced to close, regardless of whether the owner is moslem or non-moslem, not to facilitate blah blah blah, but because the authorities know that moslem businesses will very soon go out of business because people will no longer bother to buy from them because they're closed for large parts of the day for no good reason... similarly, moslems will lose their jobs because who wants to pay money to someone just so they can waste large parts of the day in prayer and doing gymnastics in the bathroom by trying to put their feet into the washbasin??.. so, all the legislation is just a form of protectionism... economically speaking, islam just isn't competitive... with all protections removed, it'll fall flat on it's butt

03 October, 2006 11:40  
Blogger Al-Republican said...

Hehe, nice to see the level of hate!

To the gentleman (?) who refered to the 5 year rule of Umar ibn Abdul Azeez. Dear, Sir, the equal distribution of wealth STARTED from his rule and extended a good 150-200 years. Enough said.

Your frustrations are pretty understandable. You see Islam coming out in full-force and there is not a damn thing you can do about it. Best way out is to cuss and badmouth it. First you guys tried bombing us to oblivion. Didnt work, so now you are trying to fill your hurt egos by cussing us out, hehe.

Good luck :)

03 October, 2006 12:12  
Anonymous cartoons-lover said...

al-republican:

it's kinda funny how moslems claim that their religion is so great, by wheeling out isolated incidents that happened more than 1000 years ago! from islam being scientific to (in this case) poverty being eradicated, to whatever else...

bottom line: moslem countries in the present day are the poorest on earth and the most economically and morally bankrupt.

israel on the other hand...! LOL.. nuff said...

speaking of which... i don't see how the moslems have any argument to stand on re israel... the jews were there first. period. they've been there for thousands of years, even back to the time of the ancient egyptians... anyways who gives a rats ass cos israel will whoop the moslems ass time and time again and humiliate them... i guess that's why the censors here black out israel with their marker pens... it's due to the SHAME they feel...! LOL

03 October, 2006 13:10  
Anonymous yo SD what's up said...

sorry SD i hope my ranting and raving won't cause the diary to be blocked or something like that.. it's just that i'm so fed up with all this religious nonsense...! it's the 21'st f 'n' l century for jesus christs sake...! when will these stupid childish people grow UP!!!!

for starters if their ugly beards isn't a crime against humanity then please enlighten me as to what is!!!!!!!

believe it or not, i've actually read the philosophy behind satanism ( it was a long time ago, i think it's at http://www.churchofsatan.org/ ) and it makes much more sense and is way superior to this garbage that passes for a "moral code".

finally, thank you for the diary... this moral and ethical wasteland we politely call UAE really needs something like this!

03 October, 2006 13:22  
Anonymous Mel Gibson said...

jews are the reason for all the agony and pain in this world.

kill all jews and have peace on earth

shalom!!!

03 October, 2006 13:25  
Anonymous jews are superior.. all bow down and worship the jews!!! said...

the fact that the blighted al-aqsa mosque is still standing is a testament to the jews' tolerance and patience...

look up "pallywood" in google video! also look up "road to jenin" in google.. and "scenes from the extreme" in google..

03 October, 2006 13:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cos israel will whoop the moslems ass time and time again and humiliate them...

i donno when that would happen... but we just recently witnessed that few thousands of hezbollah fighters humiliated the powerful zions in front of the whole world.

03 October, 2006 13:39  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Al-Rep - I don't think we're actually disagreeing. My point is that with any religion - no matter how "compulsory" things are, they only "count" if one does them with free will and a free heart. Otherwise they are meaningless.

And I don't think the state has any role compelling people. Facilitating - yes. As for zakat, in a modern system where people are taxed anyway towards welfare, then those already paying zakat shoud be taken into account (like tax deductions for charitable donations).

Any "Minstry of Vice and Virtue" should be there as a guide, not as a stick.

03 October, 2006 13:44  
Anonymous hezbolla lost the war said...

gee i dunno... it's kinda debatable as to who humiliated whom... after having had enough.. hezbolla was begging and whining for a ceasefire..!

03 October, 2006 13:56  
Anonymous war against hezbolla said...

here's what wikipedia says:

Hezbollah militia:
74 dead confirmed by Hezbollah [4]
440 dead confirmed and identified by IDF (of an estimated 550-700 confirmed)[5][6]
13 captured[7]

Allied militia:
Amal: 17[8]
LCP: 12
PFLP-GC: 2[8]



IDF:
119 dead [11]
400+ injured
2 captured
all figures are confirmed by Israeli government



now for the spice that makes the dish so delicious: israel was up against atleast 3 countries, each of which is atleast 10 times larger than israel..

i guess this means that the jewish god is more powerful than the islamic one...!

03 October, 2006 14:03  
Blogger Al-Republican said...

SecretDubai-

Yes, we can respectfully agree on that.

03 October, 2006 14:32  
Blogger Al-Republican said...

War against Hezbollah-

Keep counting, buddy. I assure you that every Muslim will fight to the last drop of blood to take back Palestine :)

You will tire of counting, but we will not tire fighting and laying our lives for what is our right :)

03 October, 2006 14:35  
Blogger uaeview said...

I must say, Dubai government has done a good job in recruiting imams, escpecially after getting rid of that maniac of a man, Eisa Al Mane, who was running the Dubai awqaf.

04 October, 2006 12:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow so many people here who hate Muslims and Islam.
Lots of low class people hanging out here

06 October, 2006 05:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^ Surely you mean 'intelligent people'?

09 October, 2006 03:20  
Anonymous hamas & fatah are losers said...

al-republician:

well glad to see that you agree with me: cmon now say it with me.. HEZBOLLOCKS LOST THE WAR

spanks to you BIATCH!!!!!!!!!!

anyways... "every Muslim will fight to the last drop of blood to take back Palestine :)"

sounds good to me...! LOL there are too many moslems on gods green earth ... however, looks like hamas and fatah are on the verge of recognizing israel as a legitimate country... in other words, they're very soon going to bend over and israel will make them both her bitches.

11 October, 2006 00:11  

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